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In performance: DC Youth Orchestra

Web-only review:

DC Youth Orchestra celebrates its 50th
by Cecelia Porter

There was ample cause for a gala and packed house at the Kennedy Center concert hall Saturday. The D.C. Youth Orchestra Program marked its 50th remarkable year with a free orchestra performance by alumni from the 1960s on. The organization's director, Jesus Manuel Berard, conducted favorites by Richard Wagner, Howard Hanson and Edward Elgar. Host Marvin Hamlisch (principal Pops conductor for the National Symphony Orchestra) led a delicately nuanced version of Gershwin's "Summertime." In the Hanson, the players responded sensitively to the DCYOP's founder and longtime conductor, Lyn McLain. Berard also drew tender ardor from the group for the Elgar and iridescent colors from the orchestra in a premiere of an beautifully crafted suite by DCYOP alumnus John Christopher Wineglass.
(read more after the jump)

Though the road has been arduous and subject to thorny challenges, the DCYOP covers lots of territory with its extensive music program for over 600 children annually. Regardless of income level or musical experience, all Washington area students are accepted into the program. It offers free and partially subsidized tuition and includes six orchestras, instrumental classes for ages 4 1/2 to 21, three wind ensembles, two string orchestras, jazz and chamber ensembles. Admission to each level of the program "depends on musical skill rather than age or grade in school," Gary Carleton, president of the DCYOP board, said Saturday.

The program has moved to from Washington's Coolidge High School to the newly renovated Eastern HS, where an Open House will take place September 11. 202-723-1612 or

-- Cecelia Porter

By Anne Midgette  |  August 25, 2010; 8:46 AM ET
Categories:  local reviews  
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